Tag Archives: Magazine industry
Stephen Brook of The Guardian in London writes about how The Economist is offering a subscription service that allows consumers to order a single copy to be delivered to their home the next day.
Brook writes, “The service does not require readers to commit to subscribing to the magazine for any period and the cost of the magazine is Â£4 â€“ the same as the newsstand price.
“‘We think Economist Direct presents an exciting new route to market and a fundamental shift in how we think about more casual readers,’ said Isaac Showman, marketing manager at the Economist.
“‘The service offers an amazingly straightforward and convenient way to buy the Economist in the UK and is, we believe, the first such service offered by any newspaper or magazine.’”
Read more here.
Frank Washkuch of PRWeek writes Friday about how the decrease in size of the big business magazines and other business publications has resulted in niche business journalism sites and publications.
Washkuch writes, “The transition to a more niche business journalism environment mirrors developments in the general interest consumer pressÂ â€“â€“Â both, after all, are largely dependent on the same advertiser- and subscription-based business model. While many of the major journalism institutions that once dominated the general interest news cycle are cutting back on reporters, editors, and producers, smaller outlets are stepping into the void, sometimes gaining influence by default.Â
“Agencies are responding by reaching business readers in new ways, such as according to generational preferences, said Jane Mazur, EVP and director of media relations at Ogilvy PR Worldwide.
“‘If you’re talking about people 45-plus and 35-plus, they are still looking at these magazines cover to cover, but when you come to millennials and Generation Y, they’re more into Google Search and they have specific needs,’ she said. ‘And so it’s really about the topics and not the outlets that matter as much.’”
Read more here.
Robert MacMillan of Reuters writes Tuesday about the impending shakeout among business magazines.
MacMillan writes, “Business news publishers rubbed their hands in glee when the financial crisis grabbed headlines last fall, saying the meltdown would deliver a windfall blown in by widespread interest in their stories.
“It did not turn out that way. Appetite for news does not always translate into revenue, especially at a time when blogs, wire services such as Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters and other outlets crowd into news analysis territory that the big magazines had long claimed.
“‘I don’t think that the big three will remain standing or remain in the same competitive situation a year from now, or maybe even six months from now,’ said Kevin Gentzel, president and group publisher of Forbes Media.”
Read more here.
Irin Carmon of Women’s Wear Daily reports that WSJ., the glossy magazine launched by The Wall Street Journal last year, has a new publisher.
Carmon reports, “The new publisher of WSJ. magazine is Sophie Raptis, who was the international business group head responsible for the Times newspaper, its Web site, and several related magazine and newspaper properties. As title manager at Luxx, she worked closely with the glossy quarterlyâ€™s editor in chief, Tina Gaudoin, now the editor of WSJ.
“The outgoing publisher, Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio, is being moved to vice president of sales for Weekend Edition and the Luxury sales group, overseeing consumer advertising. In an interview, Wall Street Journal chief revenue officer Michael F. Rooney declined to specify the percentage of the paperâ€™s advertising that falls into that category, but it clearly remains a desired growth sector for the paper.
“‘Weâ€™re still relatively new in this category, but itâ€™s really an area where we have the audience â€” the upscale audience that purchases lots of different consumer products, luxury and otherwise, and [the Journal is] a proven performer,’ Rooney said. He noted that, according to the 2008 Mendelsohn Affluent Head of Household Survey, the Journal had grown its female readership year over year by 4 percent.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
The second three months of 2009 was a disaster in the business magazine sector, as no publication reported an increase in advertising revenue or an increase in ad pages.
The overall magazine industry saw a 22 percent decline in ad revenue and a 29.5 percent decline in ad pages, according to data from the Publishers Information Bureau. But it was worse among the 15 business glossies — only four beat the overall industry in terms of the ad revenue decline, and just six topped the decline in ad pages.
The best performer for the quarter was Fortune Small Business, which reported a 7.8 percent drop in ad revenue to $13.1 million and an 8.9 percent decline in ad pages to 115.92.
Black Enterprise was the next best performer in ad revenue, as its ads brought in $7.6 million for the quarter, down 16.6 percent. Its ad pages fell 23 percent to 163.22.
Among the bigger titles, The Economist fared the best, with a 19.6 percent drop in ad revenue to $27.6 million for the quarter. Its ad pages fell 26.9 percent in the quarter to 473.81.
The worst performer for the quarter was Fortune, which saw its ad revenue fall 42.9 percent to $46.7 million. In comparison, Forbes‘ ad revenue declined 35.3 percent to $63 million, while BusinessWeek‘s ad revenue dropped 30.1 percent to $43.9 million.
In terms of ad pages, Fortune declined 45.4 percent to 385.79, while Forbes fell 39.8 percent to 482.73 and BusinessWeek dropped 34.3 percent to 331.70.
See all of the magazine data here.
D.C. Denison and Johnny Diaz of the Boston Globe look at the restructuring of the Harvard Business Review, where 10 staffers lost their jobs last month.
Denison and Diaz write, “But even with the layoffs, Ignatius said Harvard Business Review Group is growing. In the coming weeks and months, he said, the unit will be recruiting a new creative director, deputy editor in chief, senior editor, senior Web editor, assistant Web editor, and Web designer. Additionally, itâ€™s hired a design consultant to help revamp the magazine and a Web design firm to do similar work for the website. Both redesigns will debut in January.
“The restructuring at Harvard Business Review Group comes as magazine publishers are experiencing the effects of the economic downturn. Ad pages for publications in the general â€œbusiness magazineâ€™â€™ category plummeted 27 percent during the first quarter, according to the Publishers Information Bureau, which tracks media print ad spending.
“While not completely shielded from the advertising slump — ad pages at Harvard Business Review dropped 14 percent in the first quarter from the same period a year earlier — the magazine has fared better than competitors. One reason: Its high subscription price of $119 a year gives it a revenue stream most business magazines lack. And in the last few months, the organization has been reducing expenses by cutting travel and freelance budgets to offset the advertising decline.”
Read more here.
Leon Neyfakh of the New York Observer writes about the impending return of The Baffler, a contrarian business magazine that has published just one issue in the past six years.
Neyfakh writes, “During its heyday in the 1990s, Mr. Frank and the rest of The Baffler team strove to produce a critical antidote to the breathless New Economy evangelism they saw being eagerly peddled in business magazines and on TV, and a wake-up call to consumers engaged in what they called ‘corporate sponsored transgression.’ As the editors put it in the introduction to the 1997 collection Commodify Your Dissent, the purpose of The Baffler was to ‘confront the pomposities of power’ and ‘burst the bubble of the moment, whether it was the â€˜alternative cultureâ€™ or the liberating promise of cyber-revolution.’
“One big thing that will be different for this new iteration of The Baffler, Mr. Frank said, is the world its writers will be describing.
“‘We developed this critique of consumer culture and business culture, and lo and behold, a lot of the things that we were saying, instead of being this out-there stuff from the fringes of self-publishing landâ€”itâ€™s stuff that I think will make sense to everybody nowadays,’ Mr. Frank said. ‘The world has come a lot closer to our way of seeing things. Itâ€™s funny how obvious it is now!’”
Read more here.
Institutional Investor announced Monday that it plans to merge two of its existing publications into aÂ magazine focusing on the U.S. and international hedge fund industry in September.
The magazine will be called AR. Institutional Investor already publishes other magazines called Alpha and Absolute Return.
“The new publication will include everything that Alpha and Absolute Return contained, but it will be a new magazine which will contain a lot of editorial that neither magazine does, including new surveys, rankings and high-powered web functionality,” said Euromoney Institutional Investor chairman and editor-in-chief Padraic Fallon in a statement.
“With the hedge fund sector under intense scrutiny from Washington, regulators and investors, this is an excellent time to launch a hedge fund publication,” he says. “Building on the strengths of both Institutional Investor and HedgeFund Intelligence, we have the opportunity to produce the world’s leading hedge fund title which will keep investors, managers, regulators and the whole hedge fund community informed on developments in the sector.”
Michelle Celarier, who is the editor of Absolute Return, will be the editor of the new magazine.
“Hedge fund performance has recovered strongly in 2009, after the sector’s worst ever performance in 2008, and there are now significant opportunities,” said Celarier in a statement. “The new magazine is an exciting development because it joins two prestigious monthly magazines that cover hedge funds to create a single authoritative voice. Our mission is to create the most insightful, entertaining and definitive content about the hedge fund industry, in both the printed magazine and online. We will offer readers information they cannot find elsewhere, including news and performance data on thousands of funds, along with in-depth analysis, research and profiles of the biggest hedge funds.”
Read more here.
Lucia Moses of MediaWeek reports that BusinessWeek is trying a paid online model where subscribers will have a different experience.
Moses writes, “Neal said the subscriber-only view would be print-like in presentation. He said the goal is to serve both paying and nonpaying readers by ‘making all our content available to Internet users but still providing a special privilege for print subscribers.’ Users will get other benefits, like instant access to the print content online.
“The new paid/free strategy is part of a site relaunch in July which will consolidate its many channels into three focused on breaking news, analysis and community. The last one will include Business Exchange, the siteâ€™s recently created business social net. New and more ad units also will be offered. Underlying the changes is a new tech platform designed to enable real-time site updates, Neal said.
“More broadly, the site redesign is part of the McGraw-Hill Cos. weeklyâ€™s answer to the question of how to differentiate online from print. While the site emphasizes breaking news and community, the magazine is focusing on stories that are forward looking and actionable, as the title will try to do with its summer double issue, which makes the case for ‘rational optimism’ about the economy.”
Read more here.
Carr writes, “In a conference room in their Manhattan headquarters, Tim and Steve Forbes conceded that the last year had been a difficult one for a magazine marketed as the ‘Capitalist Tool.’ But, sitting side by side in room dappled with all the iconography of wealth â€” pictures of a yacht, several estates and the men who acquired them â€” they also said that, while the economy may cycle, what it means to be a Forbes does not.
â€œ’On many occasions, weâ€™ve been materially out of sync with the prevailing wisdom of the moment and where the world was,’ said Tim Forbes, the president and chief operating officer of the company, which is privately held. ‘The tide seemed to be going the other way, but we donâ€™t change our fundamental view.’
“But the downturn â€” both in the economy and in the Forbes philosophy â€” is felt particularly sharply here. Often thought of as a wealthy family that happens to own a magazine, the family is actually wealthy precisely because it owns a magazine, and the business decline of the magazine comes right out of the familyâ€™s pockets. And there is another generation that expects to inherit more than a once-gilded family name.
“So while the Forbesesâ€™ view on making money may not have changed, their view on spending has.”
Read more here.